Republicans have called a move by Democrats to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh an attempt to tarnish his name and delegitimize him.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Henry Johnson (D-Ga.), sent a letter to the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) on Aug. 6, demanding records related to his service in the White House counsel’s office and his time as White House Staff Secretary. The letter stated that these records should include emails, their attachments, and all office files.
The National Archives and Records Administration said on Wednesday that it will respond to the Democrats’ request under a federal statute that requires “notification to the incumbent and former presidents so that they can review for constitutionally-based privileges,” Reuters reported.
The White House has not officially commented on Nadlers’s request. But President Trump did show his agreement with a tweet from Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.) when he retweeted it on his own Twitter account.
Senate Dems spent months launching false accusations in an attempt to smear #JusticeKavanaugh’s reputation & block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, & now House Dems want to follow suit with yet another fishing expedition to tarnish his good name. Full statement → pic.twitter.com/6Lmw1kShzY
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) August 6, 2019
“Senate Democrats spent months launching false accusations in an attempt to smear Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation and block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now House Democrats want to follow suit with yet another fishing expedition to tarnish his good name,” Rep. Collins (R-Ga.) said Tuesday.
Nadler’s letter read: “the Committee’s jurisdiction encompasses the laws governing judicial ethics and the judicial oath of office; judicial disqualification and misconduct; and the organization of the Supreme Court.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in an interview with Fox News on Aug. 7, “This is an effort to delegitimize Brett Kavanaugh despite the fact that he was nominated and confirmed.”
Collins said Kavanaugh was already thoroughly investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which spent weeks digging into his records and additional accusations of sexual assault.
“Chairman Nadler’s request is so far outside the scope of judicial ethics, it’s harassment,” Collins wrote on Twitter.
Nadler said the Judiciary Committee is seeking the material because the Senate only reviewed a small portion of it during their confirmation process.
Justice Ginsburg, in an interview with Duke University, recently complimented the two newest justices, Brett Kavanaugh, who replaced Justice Kennedy, and Neil Gorsuch, who replaced Justice Scalia.
“I can say that my two newest colleagues are very decent, very smart individuals,” she said. Justice Ginsburg also noted that after Justice Kavanaugh hired all females for his law clerks, the Court now has more female clerks than male clerks for the first time in history.
During the 2018 investigation of Kavanaugh, many women came forward to defend the justice and shared their skepticism about the timing of the allegations.
To Hannah King, a college senior from Bristol, Tennessee, said Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of a drunken attack by Kavanaugh at a 1982 party when both were in high school were jarring and scary. But while King expressed empathy for Ford, she also said she’s concerned about the timing of Ford’s allegations, which surfaced publicly only after Kavanaugh—already a federal judge—was nominated to the Supreme Court.
“It was too timely and strategic,” said King, 21. “Anything like that makes you question how true it is.”
Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump and was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2018 with a 50-48 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat who voted in favor of Kavanaugh, while Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to oppose his nomination.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.